EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)- The House and the Senate passed a bill that would take away power from Texas cities and give it to the state of Texas.
House Bill 2127 is now heading back to the House for some amendments, but then it will head to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk.
The bill would take away cities the power to regulate broad areas of law including labor, property and natural resources.
The City of El Paso Legislative Affairs Manager Lindsey Adams brought up the city’s concerns about the bill.
“We’re unique. We’re not Austin, we’re not San Antonio, we’re not Dallas and so the issues that they are facing are different than the issues we’re facing in our border community; so, we need the ability to have home rule and the ability to be able to create ordinances that impact the issues that we are facing,” said Adams.
Additionally, the bill also impacts ordinances that are already in place as they will be able to be challenged.
“Once it’s challenged by the courts, it will have to go through the court system and so we’re going to be held up by timely litigation and costly litigation to the taxpayer,” said Adams.
Governor Greg Abbott has shown support for the bill.
Small business groups have said the bill will make life easier for small business owners.
The Republican lawmaker from Lubbock who introduced the bill, spoke about the impact on small businesses on the House floor in April.
“We want those small business owners creating new jobs and providing for their families not trying to navigate a Byzantine array of local regulations that twist and turn every time they cross city limit sign,” said State Representative Dustin Burrows (R)-Lubbock.
State Senator Cesar Blanco (D)-El Paso voted against the bill.
“It’s too far-reaching and it strips away power from our local governments. My perspective is that our local leaders are the ones that are elected, they are best suited to pass the policies that reflect the needs and values of our community,” said Blanco.
Scott Braddock, the editor at Quorum Report says it’s not only the City of El Paso that has concerns with the bill.
“Some of the big cities may take the state to court over this piece of legislation because they believe that it may be in violation of the state constitution. So, we’ll see how all that plays out,” said Braddock.